Curriculum development and implementation for physiological chemistry laboratory (Chem 3402): an open-ended laboratory approach



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Texas Tech University


This thesis describes a successful method for teaching the laboratory component of a one semester biochemistry course for nonscience majors. This method involves the use of an open-ended design which gives students a general outline of the procedure and allows the students to develop their own step-by-step instructions. This is in direct contrast to the highly structured procedures which the students used in previous laboratory courses. The open-ended approach enables students to actively participate in their own learning because they write up their own procedures and engage in discourse with other students in cooperative learning communities. The course provides students an adequate survey of most of the major concepts of a one semester biochemistry course. The effectiveness of this open-ended approach was evaluated by weekly observation of one lab section, a student survey, and instructor feedback. The design of the course and its outcomes are described in detail.